The High court in Kenya has awarded Kshs 8 million (about UGX 287 million) to three Kenyans arrested and charged in Uganda over 2010 Kampala bombing.
The decision by Justice David Majanja was based on a petition filed on June 9, 2011, while the petitioners who include Mohamed Adan Abdow, Mohamed Hamid Suleiman and Yahya Suleiman Mbuthia were still being held in Luzira prison in Uganda.
The three, through their wives and then lawyer Duncan Ondimu, dragged the Kenyan minister of State for Provincial Administration and Internal Security, minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the attorney general as well as the commissioner of police to court, for violating their rights.
The petitioners, all of whom were arrested in Kenya in 2010, were detained at various police stations before being informally handed over to the Ugandan police. They were later charged with attempted murder, murder and terrorism, arising out of the July 2010 Kampala bombing.
The attack ripped through the Kyadondo Rugby Grounds and Ethiopian restaurant in Kabalagala where hundreds of merrymakers had converged to watch the finals of the 2010 World Cup. More than 70 people lost their lives in the attack.
But the suspects, who were later exonerated by the Ugandan courts, allege that Ugandan police extradited them from Kenya without following the due process.
They asked the court to declare that their arrest and detention in Kenya and the enforced removal, kidnap and rendition from Kenya to Uganda was unconstitutional and that it violated the extradition act.
They were also contesting the search of their homes and premises as well as confiscation of their assorted items without any search warrant.
The attorney general while responding to the court said that the handing over of the petitioners by the Kenyan security to the Ugandan authorities was justifiable pursuant to the provisions of Article 124 of the treaty for the establishment of the East African Community.
But in a judgment delivered in Nairobi on Wednesday, Justice Majanja found the explanation of the attorney general wanting on grounds that the reliance on the EAC treaty to informally extradite the suspects was unfounded and does not in any way oust the application of the Extradition Act which was not complied with.
Court also found the Kenyan authorities to have acted contrary to the Constitution and the laws of the country when they arrested, searched and seized properties of the petitioners without a search warrant.
Justice Majanja went on to grant damages of Kshs 8 million to the petitioners as well as the cost of the petition on the grounds that the violation of their fundamental rights and freedoms culminated in their removal from Kenya which was unconstitutional.
“I award Kshs 7 million as damages to cover all violation of the fundamental rights and freedoms to Mohamed Adan Abdow, Mohamed Hamid Suleiman and Yahya Suleiman Mbuthia. I award Kshs 500,000 each to Zuhura Suleiman and Yahya Suleiman Mbuthia as damages for arbitrary and unconstitutional searches. I award the petitioners cost of the application, the damages shall accrue interest at court rates from the date of this judgment until payment in full,” reads the judgment in part.